Killashee GAA and parish bids farewell to loyal servant Mel Fallon

Late Mel Fallon, Clonard, Clondra

Longford Leader Reporter

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The death of highly respected and well known GAA stalwart and farmer, Mel Fallon, Clonard, Clondra, on Saturday, April 21 evoked widespread sympathy.

Mel was a very proud and life-long member of St Brigid’s Killashee GAA club, representing the ‘Sash’ with distinction on the playing fields and he was also a shrewd administrator, and indeed was Vice-President of the club at the time of his death.

He played schoolboy and underage football with St Brigid’s and showing skill, strength and ability that belied his young age, he began his senior career in 1959, lining out as a sixteen year old in the Ardagh Tournament.

Mel was renowned for his versatility, playing both in defence and attack, however, his favoured position was mid-field where he featured alongside current St Brigid’s Club President Liam Gouldsbury for many years.

Mel may have been small in stature but he more than compensated for this with his fierce determination and work ethic. Respected by team-mates and feared by opponents, he was a great reader of the game, an excellent distributor of the ball, and he always seemed to have time and space to weigh up his options when in possession.

While modern managers and health gurus certainly wouldn’t approve, Mel was known to sneak to the corner of the dressing room and light up the odd cigarette to help relieve half-time stress and nerves, and it never affected his second half performances!

Along with his brothers Padraig and Gerry (RIP), they gave decades of service to St Brigid’s.

Mel won a Junior League medal in 1964 and he followed this up in 1965 with a Junior Championship medal. St Brigid’s were crowned Longford Intermediate Championship kingpins in 1974 and Mel was an integral part of the set-up. He also won many tournament medals with St Brigid’s.

His son, Francis, won an Intermediate Championship with St Brigid's in 2003 and his nephews James and Mark won Intermediate Championship medals in 2011 and 2016 and are current members of the St Brigid’s team. And on the administrative front Mel's daughter, Jacinta served as Club Secretary for a number of years.

Mel worked with Bord na Móna for many years and he was deeply involved in farming. He enjoyed working the land and he was a very obliging neighbour and friend.

The jovial Mel was loved by one and all, both old and young. And it was poignant and fitting to see past and present members of the St Brigid’s club carry his remains from Clondra village to St Brendan’s Church, Clondra during his funeral removal on Monday, April 23. The famed ‘Sash’ jersey, that he wore with such distinction during his own playing days, was draped on his coffin – leaving no one in any doubt, that Mel was a St Brigid's man to his very core.

The huge attendances at his removal and funeral Mass bore testament to the high esteem in which he was held throughout the parish and county.

As a man of deep faith, honesty and strong family values, Mel was dedicated to his wife, Imelda and family.

Predeceased by his brother Gerry, deepest sympathy is extended to Imelda, daughters Jacinta (Tiernan), Emer (Casey), Martina and Louise, son Francis, daughter-in-law Olivia, sons-in-law Michael and Shane, brother Padraig, sisters Lily (McGuinness) and Mary Jo (Kelly) and grandchildren Aoife, Ruairí, Daniel, Niamh, Michaela and Elena, brothers in law, sisters in law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

After funeral mass on Tuesday, April 24 in St Brendan's Church, Clondra, Mel was laid to rest in Newtownforbes cemetery.

A true great and Gael, Mel Fallon left a tremendous legacy for his family, parish and Club. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam